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      08-17-2016, 09:25 AM   #1
Josh (PA)

Drives: '11 135 vert, '09 e61, '03 e46
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Odd low oil light error

I searched but didn't see anything on this and was wondering if anyone had similar experience:

(2011 e88 135)

This morning, just as I was getting on the PA Turnpike I got a "Oil Level below minimum level please add a quart ASAP" error on my I-drive. I checked the level using the I-drive and it showed in the red zone below min. The oil temp was low on the gauge and there was no metallic sound and I wasn't in an area I could safely pull over so I kept my speed down and RPMs low and continued on for a couple miles. I knew the oil level was good yesterday and there were no drips/puddles in my garage this morning, so unless something catastrophic happened, I was confident there was enough oil to get me safely to a place for investigation.

About 3 minutes later, the Oil level popped back to normal, right between the min and max and all was good.

If I had immediately added the amount shown when it was 'below min' I would have overfilled the engine. I hate not having a dipstick.

Has anyone else had this issue? Is it a sign of something bigger? Any suggestions?

Edit: some more research said if there is higher than normal levels of moisture in the oil, the sensor may read incorrectly. It's been so stinking humid here lately, and my wife drove it only a short distance yesterday, so possibly there was some moisture in the oil that heated off as I got the car up to temp. I'd still love to hear anyone else's experiences/theories.


Last edited by Josh (PA); 08-17-2016 at 09:32 AM.
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      08-17-2016, 02:51 PM   #2
one 35i
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oil level

oil level sensor?
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      08-17-2016, 02:59 PM   #3
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IF you do a lot of short trips... water in the oil can confuse the oil level sensor. Also... some early cars have a SW bug that will show a low oil level, while the real oil level is in fact correct.
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      09-11-2016, 10:47 PM   #4
First Lieutenant

Drives: 2008 BMW 135i Convertible
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Something similar happened to me. I usually check oil once every day or two, and I was right at the midpoint between low and full (i.e. the bar was half way full). One rainy day, before I hit operating temperature, as I got on the throttle in 6th gear, the low oil light came on. I guessed that I'd be fine, so I drove it to pick up a quart and I put in the full quart. The car's oil level went up to full. I think it was just a bad reading that day.

FWIW, I have a theory that these engines can handle .5-1qt of overfilling and still show "full" with no overfilling error, so I don't think you need absolute precision when filling the oil (although I'm sure getting it right is better than slight overfilling). Man are the electronic dip sticks annoying, huh?
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      09-12-2016, 02:01 PM   #5
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Drives: 2009 BMW 135i Sport package
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2009 BMW 135i  [3.50]
Will the Low oil indicator trigger the SES (Service engine soon light)?
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